For Ben Affleck, there’s never been a better time to be the Batman.
At least, that’s what he tells Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming Justice League. “This is a really nice time to work in DC. They’re hitting their stride,” he said. “They’re getting it right. It’s starting to feel like it’s really working.”
Justice League, the long awaited team-up of the seven key DC superheroes, has been mired in behind-the-scenes drama since it began shooting shortly before the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. When that film failed to thrill critics and somehow underperformed at the box office despite earning all the money, the word on Justice League was shaky at best.
Then troubles around the so-called DC Extended Universe began to emerge. The Flash film project lost three directors. Affleck himself stepped down from directing The Batman, leading to rumors that he might abandon the ship entirely after Justice League. Then, as the film was preparing to go into reshoots, director Zack Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder suffered a devastating personal loss; necessitating their departure from the project. In stepped Avengers‘ Joss Whedon to supervise the reshoots and post-production on Justice League.
As Affleck tells EW, reshoots are not as uncommon as the much-hyped stories in the last few years would suggest; mentioning he reshot for a week-and-a-half on his Academy Award winning Argo. But the extent to which films like Justice League, Suicide Squad and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story remount their productions seems different. And it’s easy why the tales of troubled production quickly gained momentum in these instances.
Then again, The Lord of Rings series always planned to reshoot material after much of the three films were shot in a mammoth eighteen month production block. But I suppose the difference there was New Line and Peter Jackson announced this plan upfront. An idea, which at the time, was met with as much skepticism as attempting to film The Lord of the Rings at all.
Meanwhile, the buzz around the DCEU has began to change thanks to the creative and commercial success of Wonder Woman.
Even with the change in Justice League directors, Affleck believes the film will work. Though he calls the production “unorthodox,” he added the film is “an interesting product of two directors, both with kind of unique visions.” Will that product continue to the momentum begun with Wonder Woman? We’ll find out when the League finally assembles on November 17th.